LONDON, April 26 Rio Tinto's
Kennecott Utah Copper expects to begin transporting copper ore
to the concentrator at its Bingham Canyon mine in the next few
days, after a landslide forced it to stop operations.
A spokesman for the company said crushers, tunnels and the
conveyor system had now been checked and were found to be
unaffected by the landslide earlier this month.
"We anticipate being able to start transporting ore to the
concentrator in the next few days. Clearly it will be at
significantly reduced volumes," he said on Friday.
Rio had been forced to invoke force majeure with respect to
contracts with copper cathode and sulphuric acid customers, and
the company said that remained in place.
Rio said at the time of its first-quarter production
statement that it expects Kennecott's 2013 copper production to
be reduced by about 100,000 tonnes because of the slide.
Kennecott is the second-largest copper producer in the
United States. Bingham Canyon, one of the world's largest open
pits, produced 163,200 tonnes of copper last year, as well as
200,000 ounces of gold.